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Fewer citations for seat belt violations and driving under the influence were issued during this year’s July 4 holiday weekend than last year’s, according to the U.S. Army Europe Provost Marshal’s Office.

Nineteen people were apprehended for DUI this year, compared with 31 arrests in 2002.

So far this year, more than 50 soldiers, family members and government employees have been arrested for DUI during USAREUR’s Booze It and Lose It campaigns over Easter, Memorial Day and July Fourth weekends.

“The military police intensively enforce drunk driving laws and seat belt compliance on military installations and in housing areas,” Lt. Col. Carol McKinney, the office’s chief of law enforcement operations in Heidelberg, Germany, said in a written statement.

“The aim of these enforcement programs is to prevent death and serious injury that result from people driving under the influence or without seat belts.”

Though the overall number of July 4 DUI arrests decreased, McKinney said there were three persons arrested for their second offense and one for his third. In 2002, only one second-time offender was cited.

The provost marshal’s office also reported that soldiers under age 25 made up about half the DUI arrests; in 2002, they made up the majority of arrests.

In the Click It or Ticket seat belt campaign during the holiday periods, 17,224 vehicles were checked and 123 citations were issued. Twenty-seven citations were written for passengers failing to buckle up and two were issued to second-time offenders. Soldiers in the ranks of private E-1 to sergeant E-5 were the largest group of seat belt offenders, the same as last year.

During the 2002 holiday weekend, 12,000 vehicles were checked and 414 tickets were issued.

“The percentage of tickets issued per vehicles checked has remained very low for the past four holiday periods,” McKinney said in her statement.

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